It’s funny how word spreads on some rides in So Cal. This ride, for example, had traction through another Facebook post from Steve Meichtry, who want even on the ride. I made a comment asking what the ride planned for this weekend, then Victor Copper posts that a group is doing a ride up to Dawson Saddle, and from this thread, more people latched on. I never get that on any posts I make on Bay Area rides. Maybe I don’t have the right friends?
This ride had a big turnout, despite the fact that it would be really cold up there. Actually, it was determined that Dawson Saddle would be too cold, and instead the ride would go to Crystal Lake.
Starting out, the pace was a little slower than what I normally do on a climb, but I figured I should stay at a low pace, considering how long the climb is. I paced myself behind Ken, who had a comfortable pace for a hill climb. Thanks Ken, for keeping me within myself, and not blowing my legs out too soon.
With such a large group, it did split up into about 3 or 4 groups. I pretty much stayed around with Victor, Debbie, and Sharona. Hanging out with a group made the long climb a little more bearable.
It started getting a bit cold and windy, as soon as we made it above the 3000 foot level. We made a much deserved stop about a couple miles below the Crystal Lake turnoff, to marvel and the road that we had just climbed. It also gave us a chance to regroup with a few people.
When we got to the Crystal Lake Cafe, we needed to bundle up for the descent … the long fast descent. With the temps in the 40s, the wind chill would make things a bit nippy. It shocked me Sharona ride up with no gloves, and luckily the cafe had gloves to sell. However, we did meet a couple of riders who had no jacket, no leg warmers, no arm warmers. I saw them trying to wrap a newspaper around his leg. We jokingly mention they should wait until summer before the decent down. I wonder if they made it down okay.
Made it down the hill with less than 50 miles. Well, we can’t let this go, we need to get over the 50 mile hump, so up and down the road a few times, and get our 50 miler in. Ah, now that’s a ride.
Stats: 52.5 miles, 6375 feet climbing.